Did Sean Payton yell at Russell Wilson on the sideline to goad him into yelling back so the Broncos could suspend the quarterback?

That’s what Kurt Benkert alleges in a tweet he sent out late Monday night.

But, there’s no evidence that was Payton nor the Broncos’ plan.

Former NFL QB Benkert says Broncos wanted Wilson to void his own contract

The Russell Wilson – Denver Broncos and Sean Payton beef just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser.

Early on in the 2023 season, it seemed as if Payton was able to resurrect the veteran QB’s play. Then, midway through the year, the Broncos went on a tear, winning five straight games against playoff teams. Then, a few weeks later, Wilson was benched by the head coach and things got wild.

Rumors swirled about the Broncos coming to Wilson’s agent asking the QB to waive his injury guarantee—something the veteran confirmed on Brandon Marshall’s podcast. And others called Payton a bully for the way he handled the situation.

Now, after his appearance on the I Am Athlete podcast, some are jumping to crush Payton publicly.

A false narrative, pushed by former NFL QB Kurt Benkert, alleges the Broncos tried to trick Wilson into yelling at Payton and having that be “Conduct Detrimental to the league.”

Benkert’s full tweet reads,

Insane. Remember when we were all confused as to why Sean Payton was reaming Wilson on the sideline during games last year? Over seemingly nothing? If Russ had snapped back at Payton during any one of those episodes the team could have suspended Russ for conduct detrimental to the team – thus voiding his contract and giving the Broncos exactly what they wanted. Now it looks like they’re gonna have to pay him his full contract to play for another team next year. The bigger man wins.

He also shared a popular clip from the podcast which has been floating around Twitter the last few days. In it, Wilson explains he wasn’t going to waive his injury guarantee and he just kept playing through the distractions. He even said he’d want to come back to Denver, if the possibility arose.

But what he never said in the clip, nor in the rest of the podcast, was anything pertaining to conduct detrimental. Now, Brandon Marshall did allude to his time in Denver, and being threatened with conduct detrimental, but not Russ.

Former NFL player Geoff Schwartz chimed in, calling Benkert’s false narrative out:

Unfortunately, 9 million people saw Benkert’s tweet and many believed it at face value. But it just comes off as some sort of vendetta against Sean Payton and in no way verifiable.

What’s next for Wilson and the Broncos at QB?

It seems there’s no way Wilson will be suiting up for the Broncos again, even if he did say in the podcast he’s open to returning.

So, where will Payton turn next?

There are multiple veteran options out there, like Baker Mayfield or Ryan Tannehill, for instance. Mayfield is an intriguing option because he revived his career last year with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, helping them to the playoffs. But he could be too expensive for the Broncos, while Tannehill would likely be much cheaper, with a lower ceiling.

Kirk Cousins is battling back from his torn achilles tendon, and Jameis Winston is yet another veteran option.

Or, the Broncos could go after a rookie in this year’s NFL Draft.

Some have them picking Bo Nix at No. 12 overall, while others say that would be a reach. Others say Denver should move up to No. 2 and take Drake Maye, which seems unlikely. They could go after J.J. McCarthy, but he seems likely to be gone before Denver picks. And some think Denver could nap Nix or Michael Penix on Day 2, possibly.

For now, it’s a waiting game, with free agency beginning in two weeks (March 13).